KARACHI: Many people across the country received text messages called 'Corona Alert' in which they were informed that they had been contacted by a coroner affected person and had been directed to take necessary precautions.
The message alert reads, "It has been observed that you may have been exposed to a corona virus case over the last 14 days, so you are being requested to take urgent precautions. '.
Along with this, the message also directed the public to go to a nearby treatment facility for fever, cough, shortness of breath and body aches.
Officials of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have confirmed that the messages are genuine and are being sent only to select persons, whose respective authorities have screened and identified them.
A press release issued by the PTA said that the Ministry of Health is sending SMS alerts to those who may have been contacted by Corona victims while traveling and elsewhere.
The initiative is being implemented by the government's Digital Pakistan program, which relies on mobile phone tracking systems.
The system works by identifying locations for corona virus-certified patients over the past 14 days.
When a phone owner is confirmed to be affected by COVID-19, authorities record the recent movements of the phone and inform the owners of the other phones they are exposed to of the risk of the virus and self-isolation. Recommend
In this regard, Tania Aidrus, Head of Digital Pakistan, said: "We use telecommunication providers and PTA with all possible types to identify the maximum number of people who are at risk for health support."
In the absence of any explanation from the government, various concerns could not be resolved, such as how to select a vulnerable person.
According to many consumers, only one family member received this type of alert despite being in the same house, while human rights activists wondered where the data would be stored.
Tania Aidrus did not specify what public data was being used to identify individuals, saying that what we were doing was to prevent the virus and that the alert was not intended to spread chaos. But also to encourage precautionary measures ”